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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 20, 2013 11:15am-12:00pm EST

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and i've gotten a lot of -- books only been out since tuesday, a week after election day. but it's got lots of reviews, and all the reviews made it sound as if i have done a hatchet job on this guy. and maybe i have, because his behavior towards jewish americans, his behavior during the war, his behavior as a ruthless businessman was not something to be celebrated. and i certainly don't celebrate it in the book. >> i wonder if you could comment on -- [inaudible]. hasn't bowled well with the people in america for protesting against catholicism? and let me add a little bit more. if i could comment --
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[inaudible]. >> in 1960, jack kennedy would have come if jack kennedy, if jack kennedy had been protestant he would have gotten 54, 55% of the vote against nixon. congressional democrats got 54.5% of the vote in 1960. jack kennedy got 50.1% of the vote. millions of white protestants who otherwise voted democrat did not vote for jack kennedy because he was a catholic. kennedy's presidency changed, i think, the dynamic of electoral
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policy come up national electoral politics in this country. because whether you liked kennedy or not, whether you're going to vote for him if he had lived in 1964 or not, it became abundantly clear during his presidency that he made his decisions for himself based on the constitution and what was best for the trendy. there was not a phone in the back room, you know, hooked up to the vatican with the pope calling him and say do this, do this, do this. it sounds ridiculous. now. but there were millions of people, ma and there were some very important leaders who said do not vote for a catholic because the catholic is less than an american but a catholic has dual allegiances. and i think the kennedy presidency change to that. >> okay. the day of reckoning --
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[inaudible] >> one question only. >> joseph kennedy's attitude, respect the jews, very on anti-semitism, do you think that had any impact on his attitude towards islam? >> well, i think one can be -- how can i put this? kennedy did not approve of hitler's actions towards the jews. entity was appalled by. kennedy came up with his own plan to rescue the jews. the jewish refugees. but kennedy, in his speeches, in his letters, in his comments, in his conversations, it became abundantly clear to me, bought into every myth about jewish
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conspiracies, about jews being a loyal only to one another, about jews running the new deal, that was called the jew deal by many of its opponents. kennedy was anti-semitic in many ways, but he was not a nazi idolater. he was not a sympathizer of hitler. he was not charles lindbergh. >> you talk about joseph kenne kennedy, or your critics say you did a hatchet job, the character against the also, his wife didn't like the kids. she didn't visit -- who became
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president kennedy when he got sick. then joseph kennedy had an affair with gloria swanson. he was never at home. the kids, they make the mothers talk. so the home was not as happy as we seem to think, and yet the children were outstanding individuals. how did that come about? >> i think -- i have written three biographies now, and one of the things i've learned is that people are contradictory. all of us. there's no one in this room who hasn't done something that a loved one has said, that's not like you. we all do things. there are very few saints and very few centers. most of us do good things, and we do bad things. and what i discovered in writing this book was, in one of the things that kept me going was that joseph p. kennedy was a
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remarkable father. an extraordinary father it and i detailed this again and again. he wrote each of his kids, when he was in london, separated from his children, he wrote each of them letters. he wrote nine separate letters. he knew what each kid was doing. he knew that eunice worked too hard in school and was too skinny. he knew that rosemary, at the time, was slow and needed encouragement, and to watch her way. he knew jack was too sloppy into careless and spent too much money. he knew joe worked too hard. so, the kids loved him. and he loved them. it was his greatest accomplishment. at the bay of pigs, which was jack kennedy bill at the end of his presidency, it was a disaster. it was a political disaster and
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a personal disaster. because kennedy felt responsible for every -- every soldier who was on a cuban beach and either killed or taken hostage, and he felt personally responsible for each of those individuals. and he also felt his political life was over. as did his brother, bobby. bobby at one point, when jack was so low, ma his wife reports that he was, you know, crying, sobbing. bobby said let's call bed, he will make us feel better. and bobby called dad in palm beach and dad got on the phone, and he said well, this is a disaster. he said, but jack, bobby, it's a good thing you got this debacle over early in your presidency. he said, by 1964 no one will remember it. and jack, you did the right thing. by saying -- by taking full
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responsibility and apologizing to everyone in the american people. he said the american people will forgive you. he said your polls will rise to go be okay. and the boys hung up the phone and they felt better. and jack's polls did rise, and his presidency -- that was in need of that presidency. >> samuel adams was such a remarkable revolutionary leader, and so is his cousin, john. >> yes. >> could you tell us a bit about the different styles of leadership and their different approaches to the issues of the day, how they thought the movement should go forward towards independence? thanks. >> well, the truth is it was a little easier for john adams, because of what sam adams had done before him. and sam adams had been called by a number of people the actual
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father of the country because he was the chief spokesperson, and policymaker for the sons of liberty. the sons of liberty separate cells really of radical people, opposed to the british, certain, finally a revolution was necessary. that sprung up almost independently across the colonies in connecticut, in new york, in pennsylvania, in south carolina. and sam adams became the chief letter writer, the political strategist and stories told of a neighborhood walk by his house at 2:00 in the morning and he would see the light in the sands of study out there, and now that his pen was going to scribble -- trying to lead us towards independence. that's not important sam adams really was.
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and, of course, john adams came along, his cousin, in his wake and did some remarkable things, even defended, if you read margolis wonderful biography, defended british soldiers in the boston massacre, because he believed that it was right. much more man of action and sam adams was a man of principle. it was said of him that he was the living embodiment of a principle. >> my question is about the founding fathers, the sons of liberty. if you could pick one to go to a bar with, which one would you go to the bar with and why? >> of all these people that i write about in this book? >> in this book, yes. >> i'll be honest with you, i think sam adams would be a little tiresome, as important as he was, because he didn't talk
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anything but what he believed in. i think i would probably pick someone like isaac sears could then essentially a buccaneer, a privateer, someone who made a living by poaching british ships in the seas off of the eastern seaboard. but the very interesting and very dedicated man, and again some of the risk his life, all this was done in secret. had they been found out, they stood to be hanged for treason. this was not just playacting. i've often said that it is almost, in trying to comprehend what they are cobblers, is a stokely carmichael and huey newton and timothy leary went to war against the united states government and one. [laughter] that's just how important -- impossible it seemed when it all began. >> mr. standiford, of the
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american colonies, who in your opinion was most radical in terms of methods? >> who was most radical? well, certainly in his passion, in its desperate passion and in his ability to convey it and his ability to rally troops, or supporters, it was a sam adams. i believe that if it had not been for sam adams, would we have -- people always are fond of asking this question. did the sons of liberty really bring us, create a revolution? my answer is yes. history shows it. would there have been a revolution had these men not done what they did as they did at the time they did? maybe. when, we don't know. it would have been the leaders of the battles, we can't be sure. and how -- some say we could have ended up like canada. yes, we would have probably broken away from great britain, but in the way that canada did.
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there's speculation along those lines. the other interesting thing that's at debate in this book is in academia i think mr. nasaw would concur, it remains in history a real debate whether or not the revolution was an exercise in idealism or a dramatic economic undertaking. they still almost come to fisticuffs over the issue. and i think it was a combination of both. in any good novel, a character undertakes action usually because it is driven by something inside his psyche that makes them want to do it. there was no one more driven in that way and sam adams, even if it works for other people like isaac sears, christopher gets in south carolina, john hancock who actually took action.
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>> are there any other questions? when have time for just one mo more. okay, quickly please approach the mike got stuck a long way to that mic. [laughter] >> this is a get acquainted -- dedicated question or. [laughter] >> yes, it is. >> i'm a former college professor myself the question i have is, the way things are now, these people, the founding fathers have looked at the situation. what's going on here in america. i'm sure you did a lot of research on it. what is your opinion? >> was my opinion on -- i'm not quite sure understand.
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>> the way the country has turned out. let's advocate come back to life, okay, and take a look at what's been created and so on. >> i think the way the contras turn that basically is wonderful to these guys. they took a great chance can risk their lives and a lot of people died so we could have a government why these debates take place. the irony that i bring up in a little bit that i read about, the tea party, in fact was not a lot of income between contemporary tea parties and what these guys were originally beyond fiscal policy. ideas about fiscal policy. dana mccullough was on 60 that's the last two weeks talking about the fact that we become historically illiterate, in his opinion and asked him why that was. i wonder what you think about that. can ask that question? >> you know, it's the fault of
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my wonderful profession. i think in large part. i don't think we teach history as history should be taught. history is a wonderful story about our past that helps to answer questions about our present. and i think the better we teach history and the further we get away from dual, fact driven textbooks, and the more wonderful stories we tell, the more our children and we ourselves will understand how extraordinarily exciting our history is and how important it is to know what. [applause] ..
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>> been trying to find it dubious study literature. bloggers i read a book on the first 80s and i thought it would be important to presidents from a different angle. why not to be the person that made them the best. for example, what possibly could i as in his door and contribute to the body of knowledge only can our george washington. everything that could be written probably has. the greatest historians have spent years poring through the letters and evidence for this book on lincoln or the hundreds on washington.
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so my thought was eureka, why not look at the person and ask him the first lady because historians have largely ignored the role of the first lady has these words he had ruled a trade ignoring mistresses in shaping the man. i suspect a lot of my colleagues tend to be older man, educated in a certainly they didn't do any such matters manchester is that they are not dedicated under educated matters of the heart. by studying the first lady, for example the first and thomas jefferson did, after spending 13 days and it lost outside of philadelphia bred in the declaration of independence, he went shopping for his wife. he mr. she was preggers. she had a miscarriage and game mastering batterson gloves. then he begged off from serving
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the rest of the summer so he could go home to monticello to be with his wife. every winter of the revolutionary war, right there besides george washington, suffering through the freezing weather was martha washington with her white on at cannes. so we get new insight on the price and the new insight than others needs. by proposing that book washington's closest adviser with alexander hamilton one of the chapters in the book talks about hamilton's history of womanizing. for example, bill clinton was not the first were the worst when it comes to this behavior in high office. at least this at least this year, armatures maker, john edwards, david pictures had not been alexander hamilton. if we read letters written by martha washington during this winter camps, she was like a soldier. she didn't complain about the weather, the harsh conditions,
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but she did complain about the tomcat one winter misbehaving that was greasy and kept her awake at nights. such nickname the tomcat alexander hamilton. because of other young girls that come into camp you are at a book a few years ago called life in the white house and it was about the president, but to date eats, what have they said they have? what are their fears and hopes and what it really can fathers and husbands. how did the kids turn out? are also trying to figure out nixon. for example, nixon and his free time late to bowl a and sometimes wear black suit to do it. it begins to explain things. who does this? so all books and i've been
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trilogies, so here's the end. so "affairs of state," i try to take a different good and we'll know about the washington, but with the digestion tenet are comfortable with brilliant. his courage and dashing crescent of the delaware christmas night, which saved the revolution. but who were george washington's girlfriends and he was a kid? you find it teenage washington on more than one occasion basically goes back home in tears because he was turned down and put pen to paper and rates roses are red, violets are blue type on this. this is a different look at washington. during my degrees in doctoral study economic professors didn't tell me about washington teenage girlfriend. so it's fun and provides us with an for months, a new way of
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understanding the president. we all know that our country's leaders have oftentimes in shape by the hand woman, often a mother i'm often a wife, but i'm here to tell you sometime saturday miss to assist out. it's in the news today, general david petraeus is still dominating the headlines with his alleged affair. was 82, my first thought when this happened and when it came out was during world war ii, general eisenhower was having a long-term affair with an attractive young british driver named kate summers v. what general hires a young female model to be his date and save a major workout in? a margin of eisenhower's affair came out during world war ii and does happen to petraeus, was recovered at eight before d-day?
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during the great depression, roosevelt was having affairs. franklin roosevelt had to long-term affairs. from the missy the hand, marguerite is a personal aide in secretary and coat and dress their and undress her. they, too. but if we found out about fdr's misbehavior one of which are fdr out of office and demanded his visit nation economy was recovering? on way back to the french and indian war. the young george washington was writing romantic letters to a woman who was not mrs. washington. name is sally fairfax, an attractive, older sophisticated neighbor. what if washington's letters have become public during the french and indian war for the revolutionary war, much as petraeus is enough to team
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public and what we got rid george washington? bill clinton is not the first and the worst. and there, done that, a long history of it. it pains me to say even abraham lincoln visited a. say it isn't so, but it happened. the details on matters itchy. there's not a lot of letters written about this, but lincoln's best friend was joshua speed and speed was perhaps as dashing and from unlucky with the ladies as lincoln was homely and awkward unlucky in romance. they always called one another by their last names. speed, lincoln. speed and that is linking his door and didn't have a place to stay, so what can let speed stay upstairs at the general store. during the friendship, speakers
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using services of a professional woman. you imagine lincoln upstairs with a pillow over his head trying to mind his own business as speed is doing his business. he basically says that after the woman. it's been too long. on the abraham lincoln would do this. it appears i cannot speak for a letter of introduction. with a professional women. i don't mean agriculture appeared as an occupation that predated our culture. what we have pieced together as lincoln visited the and had maybe $3 with him, which was a lot of money. not eliot spitzer money, but a fair amount of money. he turns lincoln five bucks, which was an enormous amount of money. so lincoln says name, i have to tell you, i can't afford it. i have had $3.
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she does speed, so there's a possibility comparing it to money. what we know this because lincoln either that in various for his honor at the best of them, for which he said he can pay me later i may be different from the house, lincoln ran out the door. so they say when you visit a there should be a happy ending. this is not from personal experience by the way. so what i thought i would do for the main body of miramax and tell you a couple of my favorite stories, not just mistresses in history, but presidential kerry are. don't worry, there's juicy stories involved. one of us are 22nd and 24th president, grover cleveland. when grover cleveland was a young man, there is a deep because he fathered a child out of wedlock with a woman for you
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helping from pennsylvania and she might've been a two. at the least she was very casual about her relationships. cleveland with a bachelor in the 1880s and became the 1890s. it was such a big to do for other reasons. one was that the republican opponents, the republican nominee in a group of righteous preachers started a campaign. lock your doors. cleveland is probably street, debauching young women. really the question campaign attacking cleveland, so it became a huge story because they wouldn't let it go. one of the things that saves cleveland as it turns out she's deploying likely had more
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affairs in this affairs misplace miraculously gave birth six months after they got married. so blame was keeping all this combination on cleveland. the one thing more than a politician that makes takes is a hypocritical politician. the other thing that made this a bit of a scandal was the republicans are pushing this issue and they had kind of teaching role, a little song and i would say mock, mock, where's my pa depending if they were cleveland's love child. when he finally wins presidents, he says go on to the white house, hot, hot, hot. what made it a scandal in space. grover cleveland as friends was monster bolton.
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cleveland was born in new jersey and spent most of his career in buffalo. he's a very successful lawyer. they practice altogether, were not together, without thinking and eating together and it appears they entered the service is a very helping get there. so when she gets pregnant, she has a son in the oscar olson nor grover cleveland new every complicates things by naming the child oscar cleveland. oscar polson had been married and had a daughter. cleveland with a bachelor, so we accept its responsibility. but here's the other part of the scandal. oscar polson back a few years later and carry checks than, driving his carriage recklessly. he leaves a widow and young
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girl. he makes an enormous amount of money as his law partner and kind of takes care of the widow and young girl and pays for them, says them up in a nice home. he becomes the godfather of the little girl, francis. they are very close. she calls them uncle cleve. he closer frankie. he pays to send her to college. but happens is francis is growing up and her relationship changes from uncle cleve to godfather to a romantic interest. cleveland started sending her letters. it's the full-court press on courting her. >> now joining us here on her booktv set is trained to.
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her most recent book is so spoke the earth -- "so spoke the earth". in january 2010, where were you? >> i was here in miami and the deeper market with my daughter when someone called me and said there had been an earthquake in haiti. of course so many lives were changed at a loss to family members and many friends in the country that something like 200,000 people. >> host: when did you get to haiti after the earthquake? >> guest: i had a little baby at the time, slated back until three weeks later to see some family and friends and how they were doing. >> host: you've got to haiti three weeks after the earthquake or it was a difficult trip in what was it like when you got
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there? >> guest: it was difficult to see all the construction, all the suffering people are going through, but nothing like it was when people actually living there at that time. at the moment something like a million and half people living in tents now down to close to half a million, which is so tragic, especially in hurricane season. there is so much loss, the people were very strong. people who would come so close to death and tragedy, who have lost so much were renewed in helping their neighbors. they redoing the best they can to survive, just as people are doing to this day. >> host: before we get into "so spoke the earth," why do you think it then nearly three years. for 500,000 people still living in tents and what can people do to assist?
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>> guest: that's the question everyone is asked to. since it's been almost three years, some have relocated themselves. some of them forcibly relocated. i don't know exactly why that many people are living in tents. he's been elections and we have a new government and a lot of aid that has been promised his mom for now. people have individual efforts, having some ways. the day. people have picked themselves up in the best way they can. it's a question we have to keep asking and something we have to not allow people to forget that hurricane standee went to haiti in people the northeast northeast have a sense of what that was like. imagine some in the echoing
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through your neighborhood, your city when the resident in a tent. something like a 74,000 acres or more ugly and. so there's more problems ahead at the results of the earth speaking with more food and security. so we are still dealing with a very urgent and difficult situation in haiti. >> host: worded "so spoke the earth" come from? >> guest: "so spoke the earth" is an anthology edited by a group of women in miami called women writers of haitian descent in the title is one of our intellectual called so spoke the uncle, where he advocated for jesus haitians to take control and tell their stories of their
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lives in so these groups of women got together that covers the three factions. they haiti i know, they haiti i want to know and to haiti at the future. different women talk about their experiences in haiti and the diaspora. it's in english, french and creole, so it's crossgenerational. we talk about the earthquake and people who are there tonight to talk about friends and neighbors. they mourn, celebrate, but there's a lot of opportunity for people who don't know much about tv ticket to no haiti through a variety of women writers polices. >> host: is creole very different from french? casco creole is a language of its own and i think of it personally as a place for these different routes came to haiti
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who is fair. the tidiness came from africa as slaves. the french, spanish, english. all the coelacanth are haiti comes to creole is a beautiful language follows proper comment at softening often a malign sandwich, even within haiti. there is literature produced here and creole, poems and stories and it's an opportunity to celebrate language because if you live here or gripe here is a haitian american, you interact with the these languages. we want it to present the anthology. it is important to have other voices together. >> host: do you speak 03? >> guest: i do. >> host: your story is in this book. what is your story about? >> guest: my story is called in the old age. if grow up in a household, your
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parents are always talking about in the old days. in the 80s semantic leadership and that, families were broken on the middle. people thought when they were going back to haiti another sunday kind of like it here, i'm staying. so the story of the family split and a daughter tries to reunite with her father. there's earthquake stories, nostalgic stories, poems, all kinds of stories in this book. >> host: joining us is edwidge danticat, one of the ya or is posed "so spoke the earth: the haiti i knew, the haiti i know, the haiti i want to know." she sells the week award winner for brother i am dying and incorporate feature as well, were you not? >> guest: in 1998 had the honor of being an oprah's book club and i got to meet her. so my first book.
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>> host: and brother i am dying, was the subject makes >> guest: we are together on booktv. brother i am dying busman elmar and it says here in south florida, where my uncle died in immigration custody after the same manner that my daughter was born and that my father was also died of pulmonary fibrosis. these events came together and the what came out of that. >> host: edwidge danticat is our guest. rate in north las vegas come if you have a question, please go ahead and ask it. >> caller: i was just wondering if you are familiar about the earthquakes. government --
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[inaudible] the earthquake allegedly caused in cuba indicate haiti. i was wondering if you had that information? >> guest: i have heard that the earthquake whitest then man caused if you will. you know, i don't dismiss anything out right because we've been hearing more about cracking its cause, where people are chilling and it causes seismic cavity. so i don't dismiss anything out right, but i have heard it right after the earthquake happened. sometimes we just hear something and think it sounds crazy and 30 years later there's a file open. so i don't dismiss it outright at all. >> host: edwidge danticat, is that a rumor or series this way the spread? >> guest: it's actually
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probably more discussed here because the first time i heard about it was mentioned are some pain, i went something like this happens, we must talk about the theory that we talk more about and perhaps that's because it is something we can do about, and the things we are doing to the environment are making these things more unbearable. for example, construction. soon after the earthquake in haiti was an earthquake in chile that was slightly on a level higher that killed less than 100 people, fewer than 100 people. we are a city of buildings and all these things and people have been forced to leave the countryside to come to the city to work and you have this dense population. we often discuss these things and how you version, the land,
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the fact we have to bring the trees for charcoal causes us to have these massive amount play and flooding. so these things are things we can do something about is a community. they get repeated more, that these other theories also talked about. >> host: and reading through "so spoke the earth," i was struck by the fact that so many writers here and in a sense to return. >> guest: i think so many of us come his children. it's different when you don't choose your migrations. we were like i've parents who fell like they had no choice but to leave. so you do have this duality. you're in for your country. i still have a lot of family there. i get that quite a lot, but there is this your name to know
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that between these places is things that displays as a paradise to fear because bad things happen there. so your gmail features, the actuality for yourself. so there is your name with the question of whether he would be able to go back, really go back. a lot of people have gone back and tried to do what they can to do with these problems department of education ico whole new generation of even our committed to helping now, to making sure to haiti had the future that it deserved. >> host: who is sweet mickey? >> guest: to nickname of our president, who is currently -- >> host: how is he doing?
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>> guest: right now, tomorrow could be remiss if i didn't mention that tomorrow is an important anniversary, anniversary of the battle, a crucial battle of haitian independence. there's been some demonstration against him. there's been demonstrations throughout haiti because the problems are urgent. there's some very urgent problems than people are seeking solutions firm hand. >> host: unfortunately, we are out of time with edwidge danticat. "so spoke the earth" is her most recent anthology from what she contributed. rather i am dying as her workman in both. edwidge danticat committee met for never us in miami. >> guest: thank you for having me.


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